sym·​bi·​ont | \ ˈsim-bē-ˌänt How to pronounce symbiont (audio) \

Definition of symbiont

: an organism living in symbiosis especially : the smaller member of a symbiotic pair

Examples of symbiont in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When Shori takes on another male symbiont, Wright punches a hole in the wall. Lovia Gyarkye, The Atlantic, 1 Feb. 2022 Jenkins suspected that this stabilizing mechanism might involve the organisms’ RNA because his colleagues had noticed many regions of strong similarity between host and symbiont transcripts floating around in the cytoplasm. Quanta Magazine, 7 June 2021 Simon says the cicada is trapped in a 17-year cycle that has forced it to make unusual adaptations like living with this symbiont. Eric Niiler, Wired, 21 May 2021 Butler suggests that the Ina-symbiont relationship might be no worse than the forms of dependency that humans already take for granted. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 8 Mar. 2021 One symbiont found in Costa Rica was hiding in plain sight: a beetle that clamps its mandibles around the ant’s middle and rides along, looking like a double-vision version of the ant’s backside. National Geographic, 11 Aug. 2020 Still, a team led by CSIRO’s Patrick Buerger wondered if there might be a way to help, at least to some extent, by raising heat-tolerant strains of the corals’ symbionts. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, 14 May 2020 Certain algae species serve as symbionts for Cassiopea jellyfish, providing the animals with nutrients harvested from sunlight by way of photosynthesis. Cheryl Ames, National Geographic, 13 Feb. 2020 In other sap-sucking insects, symbionts serve additional functions, Moran and her colleagues discovered. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, 14 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'symbiont.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of symbiont

1887, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for symbiont

borrowed from German Symbiont, probably altered (after Greek ont-, stem of ṓn, present participle of eînai "to be") from symbiount-, stem of symbiôn, present participle of symbioûn "to live together" — more at symbiosis

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The first known use of symbiont was in 1887

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Cite this Entry

“Symbiont.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for symbiont


sym·​bi·​ont | \ ˈsim-ˌbī-ˌänt How to pronounce symbiont (audio) , -bē- How to pronounce symbiont (audio) \

Medical Definition of symbiont

: an organism living in symbiosis especially : the smaller member of a symbiotic pair

called also symbiote

Other Words from symbiont

symbiontic \ ˌsim-​ˌbī-​ˈänt-​ik, -​bē-​ How to pronounce symbiont (audio) \ adjective

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